High-performing organisations have well defined communication strategies so that employees understand the organisation’s business goals and their role in achieving those goals.

Communication is more than pumping out newsletters, giving presentations, developing intranet sites and hanging mission statements on the walls. It’s about building an efficient and measurable communication strategy that is part of the organisation’s business plan. Every communication activity should support the achievement of the business plan and be delivered to that suit the information needs of employees.

Research projects have highlighted special traits of organisations with successful communication programs. While these traits seem commonsense, it’s worthwhile reflecting on how many are regularly displayed in your organisation. Here’s the top ten:

  1. Senior management recognises the importance of staff communication in achieving business objectives.
  2. Communication efforts are based on a clear, defined and measurable communication strategy.
  3. Communication programs place a strong emphasis on helping employees understand the business and their role in achieving required business results.
  4. All communication items explain and reinforce corporate business objectives.
  5. The organisation provides regular and timely information to employees on how the firm is doing in meeting its goals and the contributions being made by them.
  6. Communication programs have benchmarks and their success is regularly measured and reported.
  7. Two-way communication is deemed as essential. Feedback channels are used.
  8. Senior management encourage and respond to feedback and suggestions from employees.
  9. Managers at all levels have well developed communication skills and are rewarded for communicating effectively with their teams.
  10. Communication programs have a strong emphasis on providing information and feedback to motivate and improve job performance.

Thinking about your business

Does your company have a well-defined employee communication strategy?

Do employees understand their role in helping to achieve business goals?

Are communication efforts measured to check their success?

Do managers seek feedback and regularly ask employees what types of information they need?